Centereach doctor charged with illegally prescribing painkillers
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A doctor who practices in Centereach was arrested Wednesday by federal agents on a charge of illegally prescribing thousands of painkillers, including oxycodone, and other narcotics, officials said.
Dr. Michael Randall, 47, of South Setauket, was charged with distributing controlled substances over a four-year period, "without a legitimate medical purpose," court papers said.
The papers said that Randall, operating out of his office at the Middle Country Family Medicine practice in Centereach, illegally prescribed oxymorphone, methadone and carisoprodol, in addition to oxycodone. Carisoprodol is a muscle relaxant often sold under the brand name Soma, for "relief of acute musculoskeletal pain," court records say.
Randall was arraigned in federal District Court in Central Islip and released on $500,000 bond by U.S. magistrate A. Kathleen Tomlinson. Randall, who was arrested on a complaint, was not required to enter a plea. As part of the release conditions, Randall gave up his Drug Enforcement Administration permission to prescribe controlled substances.
His attorney, Glenn Obedin, of Central Islip, said after the arraignment, "Dr. Randall is extremely dismayed over the charges. He has always put his patients' welfare . . . [first]." Obedin added that his client plans to vigorously defend himself against the charges.
Eastern District United States Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement, "By prescribing thousands of highly addictive pain pills without a legitimate medical purpose, Dr. Randall ignored the law and his own patients' well-being."
Randall is the sixth doctor arrested by federal DEA agents on Long Island for illegally prescribing oxycodone and other painkillers since the 2011 murder of four people in a Medford pharmacy by David Laffer. Laffer was seeking painkillers. One doctor has been sentenced to 30 months in prison; three were convicted and await sentencing; and one is awaiting trial.
The investigation into Randall began after two unnamed pharmacists tipped off federal agents about the number of oxycodone prescriptions Randall was writing, court records say.
State records showed that between January 2011 and September 2013, Randall wrote over 7,300 oxycodone prescriptions for more than 1.1 million pills, "a disproportionately high number for a family medicine physician," the papers said.
If convicted, Randall faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine, according to Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for the Eastern District.